Top Wedding Photographers and their favourite Locations for Pre-Wedding Photography

Pre-wedding photography has gained major momentum of late and what started out as simple traditional portraits has grown into planned & styled shoots in interesting locations that really showcase the couple’s style and history.

We speak to India’s top photography talent on the most inspiring places for couples to show off their love for the camera.

  Prakash Tilokani

Prakash Tilokani‘Pre-wedding’ is associated with fun, anticipation and cosy moments before the wedding and what could be a better way of capturing it than merging memories in the pictures. So I give more importance to a place to which the couple are emotionally attached instead of recommending an exotic or picturesque location. It is indeed a heartening experience to photograph love birds at places where they have spent quality time getting to know each other. Sometimes couples don’t have a story to tell but are excited about a pre-wedding shoot, and that is when we explore new or amazing destinations.

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  Mili Ghosh

Mili 1Located on the bank of Lake Pichola, The Oberoi, Udaivilas is lush, enchanting, opulent and timeless. The palatial hotel is reminiscent of an old world charm where heritage, traditions and rituals of the kingdom of Mewar have been preserved. I could spend an entire day there and yet feel like I have not seen it all. Boasting grand architecture featuring sprawling courtyards, lakeside grand steps, Mewar artistry, domes and reflecting pools, every corner of this 30 acre property is picturesque – making it my favourite location to shoot fine art and editorials.

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  Sephi Bergerson

431142_10150728393263939_312151844_nI would have to say that the place I wish to shoot at is the Dead Sea in Israel. I have unfortunately not shot a couple there (yet) but the place is simply magical. The sun sets behind the Judea desert, the sea is lit by the reflecting light from the red mountains on the Jordan side of the water. The feel is magical, the colours of the desert and the sky, the quality of light and the peaceful quiet of the desert. I always let my emotions connect to the place where I shoot and I guess the desert brings back childhood memories. Those are of course a part of what formed me as a person and influenced the way I look at the world.

I can’t really say that I have something like a ‘favourite’ place to shoot. Some places like Goa or those with historic monuments do indeed make a wonderful backdrop for stunning pictures but I may not go there twice for a pre-wedding shoot. If I did, I would do if I felt I could produce different work than I did before. I believe good images are everywhere and they all depend on the eye of the photographer.

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  Badal and Raja Jain

Badal RajaWhen we think of Pre-wedding shoots, the first city that comes to our mind is Udaipur. The city where we have photographed the grandest weddings and a place that is all about timeless elegance and style. Every parent, planner or photographer wants the couple to feel like a Prince and Princess on the day of their wedding. And Udaipur with its charming locations, lakes and luxury resorts, exudes royalty and truly makes him and her feel like a Prince and Princess. Much before South East Asia, Europe, New Zealand and Australia became the honeymoon hot-spots, this place was the top choice for couples looking for a unique, romantic destination and stay at one of the best hotels in the world- Lake Palace, Udaipur.

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  Snigdha Sheel and Vinayak Das (PhotoTantra)

00-Vinayak-SnigdhaEvery pre-wedding shoot has been a most memorable experience, after all every couple is special. But four places where our experience has been special include Oberoi Udaivilas, Kumortuli Kolkata, Bodhnath Kathmandu and Angsana Laguna Phuket.  We often talk about our experience in Kumortuli as most couples even in Kolkata would be unaware of this rare location for a pre-wedding shoot. We went there in 2009 and photographed a couple with Durga Puja idols as backdrop. The mud idols as well as old houses make for an interesting backdrop. The locals are very helpful and co-operative and a camera ticket here comes at a very nominal fee. It feels great to go and shoot there, interact with locals and contribute in whatever small way one can.

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  Anup J Kat

Anup K Jat 4I never let a location curb my creativity- this has helped me shoot anywhere. The location could be a simple wall or nice floor, a home or backyard, barren land, a lane or anywhere actually. A lot of inspiration comes from the couple themselves – what they do, who they are and what they like. It is the couple and the happiness that surrounds their union that makes the moment special and that makes capturing it worthwhile.

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  Ramit Batra

RamitBatra-PhotographyMy favourite place for a pre-wedding shoot has always been Goa. Breath-taking sunsets, beautiful resorts, Churches, Portuguese architecture, old monuments, beaches, greens, mountains, unpredictable skies, rain and the freedom to be away from the crowds- all at one place! It helps me create a variety of pictures- from fun pictures at the beach, to postcards around the monuments and resorts and some really romantic pictures at sunset. Personally, it has always been a creatively satisfying experience to create compelling pictures in Goa while getting to know the couple right before their wedding.




  Devendra (Dev) Purbiya

Dev Purbiya 3Taj Safari Lodges make for such an extraordinary backdrop for pre-wedding shoots. Two years ago I got an opportunity to shoot at Taj Baghvan near Pench National Park. It’s the kind of place that gets you to forget all deadlines or pressures and enjoy home-style comfort in the wilderness. Baghvan Lodge is located by a lovely stream, surrounded by forest – offering a window into the wilderness. The luxury bungalows with sun filtering through the Jharokha offer interesting backdrops for a photo shoot. When we were at Baghvan, there was no television or mobile connectivity in the cottages and that made it a real vacation, though it was a work trip for me.

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  Abhinav Sah and Anand Rathi (KnotinFocus)

Knot in focusNew York City! The sheer vibrancy of this city makes for an exhilarating experience. Though most photographers prefer a quaint environment to shoot in, New York somehow manages to knit both ends of the spectrum seamlessly- from the serene trails of central park to the hustling crossroads of lower Manhattan. A big plus is that unlike most urban cities in India or abroad, NYC is very tolerant to shooting outdoors. Maybe it is because of the many tourists, but we don’t complain.

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  Monisha Ajgaonkar (The Photo Diary)

MonishaSahara Aamby Valley—a place I feel that has been made for love birds who love the great outdoors! There is fabulous weather almost the whole year round, with monsoon just upping the feel of romance in the air. Rich flora and fauna lend a magical touch to the pictures and the best part is it is not too far away from Mumbai!

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  Ankita and Akash (Wedding Nama)

WeddingnamaOf the many places we have shot, Jadhavgarh Fort in Pune is one of the most picturesque. It is one of the few locations where you don’t have to pre-plan your frames. Everywhere you turn, there is a beautiful backdrop – majestic arches, stone walls, preserved architecture, stunning poolside, textured backgrounds, lush green gardens, banyan trees and to top it all a serene temple. The Maharaja and Maharani suites look very royal and are perfect locations for shoots. Even though the Fort is converted into a hotel, the rustic charm of the 300 year old place remains.

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  Jhalak Singhal and Ashwin Mishra (Shades)

ShadesThough we are based in Mumbai, in the last year or so, we have done shoots at many outdoor and heritage locations in Delhi. One of our favourite locations in the capital is the National Rail Museum in Chanakyapuri. It is the only open museum we have ever seen and we’d say it is a must-visit not just for children but for adults too. With over 100 exhibits of Indian Railways, signalling equipment and rail-related literature, the Museum is also known for royal & princely locomotives and saloons such as the Saloon of Prince of Wales, Saloon of Maharaja of Mysore and others. And while it is an exciting journey there, the beautiful background of the rusty locomotives and princely saloons give pre-wedding photographs a touch of royalty and timeless style.

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Chelsea’s Fairtale Wedding Cost $3 million. A Big Fat Indian Wedding Costs?

The New York Daily News reckons the total bill for Chelsea’s nuptials will top $3 million and they’ve given estimates of what could be the break-up of the costs. While some Americans believe the low-profile Chelsea deserves a lavish wedding, some have reacted with shock over what they feel is an ‘outrageous’ spend. We asked Wedding Planners Divya and Neha Chadha of A Klass Apart: AKA to give an indication on how much super-rich families spend on Big Fat Weddings, and how different spends are in India. Explains Divya: “At $3 million (Rs 15 crore), Chelsea’s one day wedding affair, is much more expensive than what a similar wedding would cost in India. My clients wedding in Udaipur had fifteen functions over seven days and the budget was Rs 15 crore. While the Udaipur wedding was a super-grand affair, typically, the budget for a Big Fat Indian wedding (with four elaborate functions) is between Rs 3 to 5 crore.”

Chelsea Clinton- Rs 2.32 crore
Big Fat Indian Wedding- Rs 1 crore
“Top florists/ decor expers like Gurlein Puri charge between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 20 lakh per function, while Dhun Cordo charges no less than Rs 1 crore for entire conceptualisation/ theme design.”

Photographer/ Videographer
Chelsea Clinton- Rs 18.6 lakh
Big Fat Indian Wedding- Rs 12 lakh
“This is the fee of photographers like Badal and Raja Jain, Bankim Jain for 4 functions/ 4 days. This includes costs of editing, digital copies, prints etc.”

Food (Wedding and After Party)
Chelsea Clinton- Rs 13 lakh
Big Fat Indian Wedding- Rs 8 lakh
“A very elaborate spread at a 5 star hotel would be Rs 3000 per head. A function at the Jagmandir Island, Udaipur would be priced upwards of Rs 8000 per head. Some families hire the services of top chefs like Delhi-based Marut Sikka who travels with his entire team to the destination wedding venue.”

Wedding Dress
Chelsea Clinton- Rs 11.6 lakh
Big Fat Indian Wedding- Rs 10 lakh
“The budget for Indian bridal wear varies extensively. An Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor bridal creation starts at Rs 1.5 lacs (for a very light outfit). Typically rich Indian brides buy very elaborate creations for four functions.”

Hair and Makeup
Chelsea Clinton- Rs 9.3 lakh
Big Fat Indian Wedding- Rs 2 lakh
“Top makeup artists like Cory Walia, Kumar Iyer, Kapil Bhalla charge upwards of Rs 20,000 for creating one look (makeup/ hairstyling/ saree draping). Families also hire few or many makeup artists for dressing up the family members and guests”.

Wedding Cake
Chelsea Clinton- Rs 4.6 lakh
Big Fat Indian Wedding- Rs 50,000

Wedding Invitations
“Wedding Invitations vary from Rs 100 to Rs 3000 per card. Delhi’s Entertainment Design Company (EDC) cards start from Rs 2000 upwards. Even the wealthiest families may not spend Rs 2000 per card but they would spend on gift items/trays that go with the wedding invitation.”

Other expenses of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding not mentioned above.
Groom’s tuxedo, Wedding Planner, Music incl Sound system & DJ, Security, Liquor, Wedding bands, Favors, Lighting, Stationery, Tables, Rehearsal Dinner, Media consultant, Priest, Valet Parking, Bride’s Jewellery, Aisle Runner, Tents and Other services.

Source: Chelsea Clinton’s wedding expenses: NY Daily News